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You women freak me out; another candid blog

October 13, 2011 2 comments

Quick note before we get into today’s blog: Conniethoughts is changing.  If you are a subscriber, please email me at rcbjakab@shaw.ca to find out the new blog as this one will not be updated any longer as of Monday.

Yes, you women freak me out.  I’m afraid of your judgments when I walk in the room.  Am I dressed well enough to impress you?  Too much that I intimidate you?  Do I come across too talkative or too shy?     Should I smile at you or pretend to ignore you?  Should I approach you with openness or put on an aloof facade?

 

Its hard to walk into a room when you all know each other and I know no one.  You seem to all flock together.  It would be ok if I thought you didn’t notice my presence, but that glance back with a look up and down just made me realize you’re very aware I’m there.  I wish you could have seen me smile at you in attempt to reach out, but you turned back so quickly.   I guess this is why girls don’t often go places alone.  It’s just so awkward…..

 

Its that uncomfortable moment of frantically scanning the room for a friendly soul that scares me.   It’s always nice when you finally decide to come over to introduce yourself.  You have no idea how refreshing!  But its hard not to compare the experience to feeling like I’m in the middle of an initiation.   The fact you just walked away tells me I didn’t pass….

 

I appreciate the attempts of inviting me out for coffee and to the party you were hosting so you could introduce me to your friends.  When you’re the new girl, it’s nice to have an invitation to hopefully form new friendships.   I’m just confused when the invitations stop?   I guess we’re not friends then?   It’s hard to read you when you’re nice, but not inclusive…….

 

I love deep talks with you.  It’s stretching for me to be open and spill my heart out.  I go away from sharing my soul with you feeling safe and free!….. until another comes and repeats verbatim all I shared with you…..  You were the only one I told.  I feel even more betrayed when you act like nothing happened.

 

I’m thankful when you’re not threatened by things I’m good at.  It’s wonderful when we can cheer each other on and celebrate one another’s accomplishments.   But I have to admit, I find it draining to hear you talk about yourself only to shut me down when I’ve got something new and exciting in my life I’m dying to share with you.

 

I was flustered after you got offended with me speaking rather frank with you.  I thought you said we could speak freely to each other and not take it the wrong way?

 

And honestly, it drives me a bit crazy when you obsess about what other girls are doing.  You become a different person when you’re trying to impress them.  I’m not sure when you decided these girls are setting the social standard?   Why can’t you just not care and be yourself?

 

Sometimes I just want to give up on you…. but I can’t.  Somewhere deep in my soul I feel I was made to connect with you.  I feel more complete when I’m with you.   As much as I want to isolate myself from you, I long for a kindred to walk through life with.  As tall as I may want to build the wall around my heart, I know that God formed us to be in communion.

 

So when you ignore me, I’ll still muster the courage to smile.   When I’ve been pushed out of the circle, I’ll still speak highly of you.  When you succeed, I’ll choose to cheer for you, even if its not returned.   I may not bear my heart and soul with you until I feel  my trust replenished, but I won’t with hold my hand from you.    I will look for you when you’re the one alone in the crowd.   And even though my time seems so limited, I will try to look for you outside of my comfortable circle of friends.   I won’t care if you have a different style or point of view than me.  I find that intriguing and fresh!

 

You may hurt me again and again in ways you don’t even realize, but in those moments I will run to the Father for His Daddy hug, and He will give me the courage to face you again.   I may succumb to my wall or standoffish behavior again.  When I do, I’m sorry.  Time to head back to the Father again to break down my wall of judgment ….. and hopefully surprise me with a new, deep friendship that sharpens us to be more like Him.

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Categories: relationships

A very risk-a post about women…. and our walls.

Women  build walls.  We can’t help it.  We feel the need to guard the ones we love.  No differently, we love to guard ourselves.   It’s our nurturing nature.   We want to protect the emotion, where as man likes to protect the physical domain.

 

It’s good to be able to protect our emotions and the emotional atmosphere of our home.  We want our children to feel safe.  We want our husbands to flourish.  We want ourselves to live in such safety and freedom as well.  When that’s under attack, we do the first thing we know how to do: build the wall.

 

Walls aren’t bad.  They tell us who’s allowed in and who’s not.  It’s not a bad thing to keep unhealthy relationships at bay.  The problem is when we become so guarded that no one can penetrate through.   This wall can take many forms:

 

  • wanting a perfect image

 

  • shying away from people, trying to remain inconspicuous. (YOU’RE the people I happen to notice first by the way…)

 

  • wearing sunglasses as protection from people seeing you, and you having to look at them.

 

  • giving a stone-cold look, causing others to avoid you

 

  • hiding behind a profession or title

 

 

There are others, but that gives a pretty general idea.   My wall doesn’t look like that.  I don’t like my wall.  I often don’t know how to not pull it up in situations where I feel uncomfortable.   I even know when I’m doing it!  Guaranteed, I’m thinking; “Could I just let the wall DOWN for heaven’s sake??”

 

Wanna know what my wall looks like?

 

Excessive talking.  Like, non-stop.  Like, “SHUT UP, Connie” kind of talking.  Now if I’ve ever talked your ear off that doesn’t necessarily mean I had my wall up, because its also the way you know you’re good friend.  I clearly feel safe to share my feelings, and so I will freely.  But if I don’t know you well and I’ve talked your ear off (and perhaps you’ve felt like saying; “SHUT UP, Connie”, that was my wall you were experiencing.  Weird, I know.  I don’t get it either.   But when I put up my wall, I so desperately don’t want to!  I want you to know that I’m actually not really THAT talkative (just don’t ask my hubby his opinion, k?)

 

What I actually want to say when I’m with you is what I’m feeling deep inside.  I’m a very deep thinker, who likes to really dig deep down into the guts of my emotion. I feel things deeply and love to talk things through with those who I feel will guard my emotions and see them as precious.

 

I think we all feel that way.  Interesting isn’t it?  We all want good relationships, but we feel the need to keep the walls up, keeping our desire at bay.

 

Maybe its time for a little rebellion?….   What if we let our walls down?  How would that feel?   I think we’d all feel pretty naked at first,  probably very vulnerable…. come to think of it, it would feel downright uncomfortable!   The scariest thing is that while my wall is down, so are my defences against your attacks.   Hurt is inevitable as we have no idea what to do with those with no wall!  It seems our only reaction is to hurt one another and see each other as “weak”.

 

We like that, don’t we.  If someone doesn’t appear to be the mysterious, strong woman (behind the wall), there’s a sense of admiration and curiosity.  But as soon as the wall is down and weakness is exposed, the true test of love is shown by the ability to love another wall-less woman….. to see beauty in her in frailty, not a chance for you to expose her for the sake of your insecurity.

 

Then and only then, will she (and you) feel safe to flourish.

 

* this is about women’s walls towards one another.  Our walls towards men is a whole different story….

Categories: relationships

When I got offended

This week I was challenged by something that happened to a dear friend of mine.   Those who know me know how much I hate any form of status or elitism.  I think its stupid – especially among believers.   We know better.  We know the cross of Jesus levels all people to equality no matter what size, color, personality, size of teeth….   Daddy loves all and therefore, we do too.   However, we’re frail humans who seem to fall prey to want the “beautiful people’s” vote.   All of us fall for it from time to time.

My dear friend had one of these experiences of being blatantly pushed aside for not being “beautiful”.  It was one of the most obvious, horrible forms of exclusion I’ve heard of in awhile.  I was mortified.  Angered.  Livid, actually.  My heart burned with wanting justice for all those who’ve been shoved aside for outward appearances.   I called her, still hot with anger, wanting to tell her the truth of who she was.  I was sure she was crushed in her heart.  I was coming to the rescue….

But she rescued me.   What a gracious, beautiful woman she is.   Instead of feeling pushed aside…. Instead of offense….. instead of a broken heart, she stood tall, full of dignity and loved.   She told me of how she had been just teaching her kids about the armour of God, and specifically, about the belt of truth.  She was learning how to put her belt of truth on and passed this test with flying colors.  She offered nothing but grace and forgiveness.   Her words were seasoned with God-confidence that could only come from her roots being right where they should be.

I was humbled by my friend’s ability to live loved when my SELF would have wanted to break.   She is strong in the Lord and in His mighty power.   I said to her; “When I grow up, I want to be just like you!”  Even though I was trying to be funny, I was serious.   After hanging up the phone I asked God to make my heart more like my friend’s heart.   To help me practice what I’ve been preaching lately:

To see others by His Spirit and NOT personality

I want to see past my view of people’s actions.  I’d want them to do the same for me!  I judge myself by my INTENTIONS, but I judge others by their actions.   And they judge me for my actions not my intentions.  My intentions are always great (I promise!). Whether it comes out that way is another story.  Wouldn’t this be true of those I question?

The battle is won by people like my friend.   Her heart reminded me of those Jesus would like; “the last shall be first….”    She’s ok with finding herself in God.

Maybe I’ll try that out too….

Categories: relationships

What it took to crush my heart…

October 4, 2011 2 comments

 

If I wanted to destroy a woman….

I wouldn’t use physical pain.  Women can get through almost anything; from forgetting about a paper cut,  to childbirth, to experiencing some of the worst trauma possible.  Nope, it wouldn’t destroy her.  Somehow she would just find the strength to keep going…

 

I wouldn’t use situational hardships.  Even women who consider themselves “weak” still can get through the hardest of times.  They have no choice; they are the glue that holds the family together.  They’ll “take it for the team” and stand in the way of any bullets being thrown at her and her family.  It would be foolish to think she would go down without a fight…. And what a fight she’d put up!

 

No, if I was to destroy a woman’s heart and crush her spirit I wouldn’t use those methods.  I’d go for something much more personal.   I’d hit her where it really hurts.  I’d destroy her through relationships.

 

  • I’d have someone she loves abandon her

 

  • I’d make her second guess herself by making her think everyone is talking about her

 

  • I’d have her best friend or closest relation betray her

 

  • I’d have her husband distance himself or replace her

 

  • I’d have her children defy her and rebel

 

  • I’d isolate her away from the world, making her feel she’s safe from being hurt from others, then watch her collapse in her own shell of loneliness.

 

  • I’d see that every person she has reached her arms out to in love would shrug her off.

 

  • I wouldn’t let anyone give her a friendly smile.  I’d have everyone pass her by with stone-cold faces only to glance at her when they needed her help.

 

  • I would make her feel like a victim; like she’s always giving and never receiving

 

  • I’d make her think she’s not good enough by having people deliberately leave her out of social outings.

 

  • I would be sure to have someone call her “fat” when she’s having a good day.

 

  • I’d have her keep believing that she doesn’t “fit” anywhere.

 

  • I’d use small, cutting remarks from a co-worker make her think she’s not smart enough for the promotion she’s been wanting.

 

Because I know that women are made to connect and thrive off meaningful conversations and fulfilling relationships.   If I can make them feel small and insignificant, I’ve got them right where I want them: ineffective and unproductive.  They’ll find purpose and joy in things they think will help; like shopping, facials, new shoes, a new hair-do, a special trip…. but it won’t work.  As long as I keep their loving hearts locked away from ever wanting to live the way I know they were created to live; to be earth’s problem solvers and nurturers, then I know that poverty will remain rampant, people will never come out of their brokenness, and hearts will never turn to a loving Heavenly Father.  The earth will remain unhealed, unloved and in desperate hope.  Offense will remain in the church, keeping it buried under judgment.  Status and elitism will remain to rule against the very heartbeat of Christ Himself.

All I have to do is hope they never figure out this tactic of mine.  If they did, things could really change….

 

*note to reader: this is clearly not me, Connie, wanting to destroy women.  It is written as a narrative from the enemy of our souls (just to clarify for you concrete-types)

 

Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken.  If you want to make sure of keeping it intact,  you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal.  Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness.  But in that casket – safe, dark, motionless, airless – it will change.  It will not be broken; instead it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. – CS Lewis

Categories: relationships

When I ran away from my marriage

I was driving to camp this year reflecting on trips to camp in past summers, thankful for how things have changed. I was remembering longing to leave home and taste the freedom that life on the road brought. And what was more free-feeling than travelling with a group of young adults five to ten years younger than myself! I felt youthful and alive! Unlike how I felt at home….Reuben and I hadn’t been married that long when I started taking teams of young adults around British Columbia and Alberta each summer to do camp ministry.
Unfortunately, Reuben and I had a pretty rough go the first eight years of our marriage. We were two stubborn people learning to become self-less. Needless to say, that “learning” was taking longer than expected. I talk about it further in my blog, “And they lived happily ever after”, but to set the stage, let me just briefly mention the disillusion I lived in regarding marriage. I was a dreamer, and in my eyes, Reuben was a dream-squasher (now I see his objections as a gift that save me from a ton of trouble). Our constant failing to see eye to eye spiralled me into a death trap of focusing on furthering my “career”, which happened to be full time ministry.
I didn’t know how to deal with my disappointment in my marriage, so I was determined to pour my heart into work.
Looking back, I wish I would have put that much “heart” into my relationship with Reuben.Summer would come and I would run away from home for sometimes weeks upon weeks of camp ministry. While on the road, I wouldn’t have to be constantly reminded of the anticlimax I had experienced with the romantic notion of marriage I had created in my mind. While away, I lived carefree, spent money like the young adults on my team, and only called home every so often. I was having the time of my life.
I remember one camp in Sorrento, someone said to me; “You have so much love for everyone else, but you need to focus that same love onto your home”. I will never forget those words. Even to this day, when I feel my independence rising, those words echo in my heart. 

I am thankful to say that for the last four years of continuing doing camps each summer, I’m no longer running away from home. In fact, I’m a blubbering mess leaving my hubby – even though I only do one week of camp each summer. I hate being away from him. I want to call home every day to hear his voice and make sure all is well. And instead of bringing along young adults, I’ve opted for a younger model: my son, and as of this summer, baby as well.

 

My heart is full of thankfulness for the change God has worked in my life. For me, I was running way to camp. For other women, it’s a different place they run to; the mall to shop, the job, the hobby, the club, the girls trip, the other man…. All very different, but caused by the same dissatisfaction with what they felt marriage was going to look like.

 

From a former runaway, I want you to hear my plea: stop running. Stop running to whatever it is eases your pain and run back to the man you married. I know it’s painful and hard. Even when you both want to work hard to make it work, its still one of the hardest things you’ll ever push through…. but also the most rewarding.

 

In the words of Switchfoot; “This is your life. Are you who you wanna be?” You get to choose who you become. Are you who you want to be? Are you the wife, the mom you daydreamed about when you were a little girl? Are you “present”? You can be. You can have a marriage that makes it, if your man wants it to work too.  Honestly, I’m shocked ours lasted, but we didn’t give up and because of that, our relationship has a depth it would never have experienced without walking that road.

 

No more running.

Categories: relationships

Status anxiety 2: dealing with snobs (via Connie Thoughts)

September 15, 2011 Leave a comment

Status anxiety 2: dealing with snobs Again, what is it?  Anxiety that takes us over when we focus on how others view us. Alain de Bottom status anxiety results from various cultural factors in our society: So here’s the 2nd factor: snobbery “People who adopt the worldview that some people are inherently inferior to them for any one of a variety of reasons, including real or supposed intellectual ability, wealth, education, ancestry and the like.” (from the book Untamed by Alan and D … Read More

via Connie Thoughts

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What to do with my “me, me me, mine, mine, mine” child?!

September 5, 2011 2 comments

We often say; “I wish parenting had a manual”.   Well, I think I may have found the closest thing to it!  Before I share it, let me take you through a couple of current scenes  around our house;

 

Scene: we’re at the mall and my son doesn’t get his way, so he responds with arms crossed, and saying; “That’s it, I’m just not going to love you anymore.  I’m going to run away from home”.

 

Scene: at the dollar store buying items for his birthday party loot bags and my son asks; “Can we buy a toy?”.  I reply by saying he already got his birthday presents.  For his response, see scene above…..

 

As of late, a whole chapter on similar scenes can be written.  “Where did he get this from??”, I ask myself.  I felt numb, wondering if every Christmas and birthday (and every other day of the year!) would be filled with ME ME ME, MINE MINE MINE!!  I wondered where we’ve gone wrong??  We’re a pretty modest family, fighting consumerism, giving our sons learning opportunities about those less fortunate, and our mission on earth.  So where is this sense of entitlement coming from?!

 

Then I ran into this book; “The Entitlement-Free Child” while reading Jennifer Grant’s book, “Love You More”.   It only took me seconds to get onto amazon and it was ordered.  I dove right in when it came in the mail!  One of the first things I read in the book stated:

 

“The entitlement child gets everything he asks for…. now.  He can’t wait.  A parent saying no doesn’t mean no; it means “Maybe, if you keep bugging me” or “I don’t really want to, but….”  The entitlement child doesn’t accept “enough” because he’s afraid he might miss out on “more”.  Driven by immediate gratification, the entitlement child gets what he wants; he just doesn’t get what he needs.  He gets what he wants today but is unsatisfied tomorrow.  His happiness is temporal and conditional.”

 

“The entitlement free child on the other hand, gets much more.  He trusts that his needs will be met, because he has learned that he can count on other people today and tomorrow.  Life is ok even when he is frustrated, confused or upset.  He has skills.  The entitlement free child learns to see things from another’s point of view, accept limits from others, and delay personal gratification, and he can handle age-appropriate problems.”

 

“Wow! Where do I get me one of those?”, I thought!   Jokes aside, I longed for my son to adopt these beautiful traits of an entitlement-free child.  I wrestled for a whole day with these questions burning in the back of my mind.  Then it all came clear to me where he may have learned this from…..

 

We were hitting up our local McDonald’s for our daily summer routine of dollar drinks.    Then it hit me.  My son has no idea that these drinks are only a dollar!   All he knows is he’s been getting a “special drink” almost every day this summer!  Yike-o-rama!  My mind started to race, recalling many other innocent scenarios that may not have been so “innocent”.  And who was instigating all these harmless indulgences?  ME!!  I wanted a special drink,  I wanted….

 

I’m an entitlement child trying to raise an entitlement-free child!!

 

Talk about eating humble pie.   In order to see my son’s behavior change, I’VE got to change.  He’s just following my lead.   Needless to say, I have a whole new outlook on our daily outtings.   Are they feeding my cravings?  Are they to indulge mommy?  Needless to say, I’ve starving my flesh and my wants this past while so I can pass on something greater to my boys than what I’ve been giving.

 

Pick up the book.  It’s a close to the manual we all long for.

 

The Entitlement Child by Karen Deerwester.  “Raising confident and responsible kids in a ‘Me, Mine, Now!’ Culture”

http://www.amazon.com/Entitlement-Free-Child-Raising-Confident-Responsible/dp/140221510X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1315236362&sr=8-1

Categories: relationships